past event

Future of Sports: Olympic Reform in the Public Interest

In February, our Future of Sports conversation series explored what college reform in the public interest might look like. Then, in March, we turned our attention to the Olympic movement in the U.S., specifically the way sports are organized under the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act, which shapes the experiences of more than 11 million athletes at all levels from youth clubs to Team USA.

Created 45 years ago during the height of the Cold War, the Sports Act needs to be updated. It’s hard to conclude otherwise after reading the final report of the Commission on the State of U.S. Olympics and Paralympics, seated by Congress to study the function and performance of the U.S. Olympic Paralympic & Committee and the 50+ National Governing Bodies of sports that it certifies and oversees. From persistent athlete abuse to declining youth sports participation rates, our sport system has been shaped by fundamental flaws in the design of the Sports Act.

Should the federal government continue to outsource sport development to the USOPC and NGBs? Does Congress need an Inspector General to oversee the USOPC and the U.S. Center for SafeSport to ensure accountability to their missions? Should the Sport Act continue to be an unfunded mandate, or is sport development important enough to public health and other national priorities that it deserves public support? How do other countries support grassroots sports and protect athletes?

  • Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, OLY, CSUSOP member, CEO of Multiplying Good and board member, PLAY Sports Coalition
  • Pat Kelleher, USA Hockey executive director and chair of the NGB Council
  • Ju’Riese Colón, CEO of the U.S. Center for SafeSport
  • Ashleigh Huffman, PhD, former sports diplomacy chief at U.S. State Department
  • Tom Farrey, executive director, Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program
Companion content:

Future of Sports is a conversation series, hosted by the Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program, that helps stakeholders think through key questions shaping the future of our games, the sports industry and its impact on society. Past events examined the future of football, a series on college athlete pay including the government’s role, name, image and likeness rights and the public interestsports bettingathlete activismcoaching, the U.S. Olympic movement, women’s pro sports, children’s rights in sports, and the future of sports in the climate crisis. Contact Sports & Society Program Executive Director Tom Farrey at with questions or inquiries.

Event information
Tue Mar 26, 2024
12:00pm - 1:00pm EDT
Watch the replay here